Reframing a Problem & Systems Thinking

We took the challenge of solving for a company's severe customer attrition; reframing the idea of what it meant for a business to "meet" a customer for the first time. We also built a new system - interactively and technologically - for the company to use when meeting potential customers for the first time.

 
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We began by inviting the very same customers who'd decided to leave the company to share their experiences with us, extensively documenting their stories. These stories revealed a personal, vulnerable view of the decision to apply with a financial institution - a point of view that wasn't reciprocated by the company. The advent of technology had led the company to simply digitize the analog, as opposed to using the technology to design a more intimate, curated experience.

 
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This disconnect in the early stages of a customer's relationship with the company sowed the seeds for latter attrition. This reality also contrasted with the business's current focus on the later stage of a customer's experience. Former customers' stories - in the form of videos, letters, and photographs - were collated to convey the problem reframe to accountable stakeholders. These personal messages, in accompaniment with experience maps, not only refocused stakeholder attention, they ignited a relentless drive to address a previously unconsidered human-centered problem.

 
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In partnership with analysts and product designers, we rapidly prototyped and tested different system designs to address this new area of focus. Sacrificial concepts, paper prototypes, and user role-playing were used to zero in on the optimal experience. The team also partnered with technology teams to simultaneously test potential back-end technologies with front-end experiences, understanding trade-offs in a given design. The project concluded with the delivery of a high fidelity, interactive prototype capable of showcasing multiple future experiences. We also delivered a roadmap to move future production teams from their current state through subsequent stages of development and design.

Key methods used:

In-depth Interviews, Empathy Probes, Experience Mapping, Sacrificial Concepts, Paper Prototypes, Role-Playing